Race like gender is part of a socially constructed hierarchy that is unfixed

Race like gender is part of a socially constructed

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dynamic that also influences interpersonal relationships and life circumstances. Race, like gender, is part of a socially constructed hierarchy that is unfixed, historical, and fluid (Omi and Winant; West and Zimmerman). Whiteness is defined by feminist and sociologist Ruth Frankenberg as “a location of structural advantage, of race privilege. Second, it is a “standpoint”, a place from which white people look at ourselves, at others and at society. Third “whiteness” refers to a set of cultural practices that are usually unmarked and unnamed” (1). Philosopher Linda Martín Alcoff argues that race discourse should encompass multiple racisms because the treatment of different groups is often related to their specific, localized context (122). Andrea Smith, co-founder of anti-violence organization INCITE!, explains that there are three main pillars of white supremacy within the U.S. She explains that anti-Blackness “anchors” capitalism, the genocide of Indigenous peoples supports settler colonialism, and orientalism upholds war (56-57). Racial projects of minoritization serve to uphold the United
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5 States’ systemic white supremacy. Within this report, I focus heavily on Black women’s responses to racism and sexism but this is not intended to promote a false Black and white binary perspective of race and racism. Alcoff explains that it can be difficult to critique this popular misunderstanding of U.S. race relations because of our context of overwhelming anti-Blackness. However, not only does the binary fail to incorporate racialized communities that fall outside of the Black or white dichotomy, it is also necessary to understand the many different ways that racism is manifested in order to address anti-Blackness (121).
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